Battle Management member wins Acquisition Excellence award

  • Published
  • By Patty Welsh
  • 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
A member of the Battle Management Directorate is the winner of the Outstanding Air Force Acquisition Manager Award (Lieutenant Colonel or Major) in the Acquisition Excellence and Leadership Awards for fiscal year 2015.

Lt. Col. Christopher J. Kadala, Joint STARS branch chief and materiel leader, received the award for his work in a multitude of areas, including leadership, resourcefulness and collaboration.

“Lieutenant Colonel Chris Kadala and his Battle Management team at Robins certainly have had their hands full sustaining the mission critical, but aging, JSTARS fleet. It's great to see this Air Force level recognition of Chris and his outstanding leadership in our important life cycle management mission,” said Steve Wert, Battle Management program executive officer.

Kadala managed the Joint STARS programmed depot maintenance, or PDM, ensuring aircraft availability, allowing for more than 100,000 combat hours supporting combatant commanders. He provided support for 17 high-demand Joint STARS aircraft in seven major operations across six combatant commands.

He led a team of 59 military and civilian personnel, executing more than $350 million annually in sustainment. He realigned sustainment work, saving 210 days of aircraft availability during PDM.

“I have the privilege of working with an exceptional team of dedicated, hard-working professionals and this award is a testament to the vast array of accomplishments our small group has achieved,” said Kadala. “We’re committed to improving Joint STARS’ fleet viability and keeping it in the fight for years to come.”

Kadala also took innovative approaches such as salvaging liquid coolant tanks from boneyard F-14s and leading an engine oil indicator system retrofit, saving costs and increasing reliability. In addition, he updated the platform’s training network, enabling virtual wargames in order to keep crew proficiency current.

Forging a partnership with the Joint STARS Recap Division, including co-authoring a system sustainment plan, was another of Kadala’s accomplishments. He also pioneered a Joint STARS cybersecurity test that scanned millions of lines of code across five subsystems.

In addition to his functional achievements, Kadala also mentored and guided others; he took on the role of military program management functional, providing career guidance to more than 100 acquisition and engineering officers. In addition, he created and executed an acquisition career development program, allowing junior PMs to garner a breadth of knowledge.

In the memorandum announcing the awards, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition), Darlene J. Costello, said the winners “have shown exceptional leadership, initiative and innovation in delivering capabilities to our warfighters.”